We started delivering art therapy at Alder Hey in February 2018. Our work sits within the Clinical Health Psychology team – a service providing emotional support for children, young people and their families in navigating the challenges that can arise from living with a medical condition. The team is made up of clinical psychologists, arts therapists and a paediatric psychiatrist. An important role of the art therapist is to offer consultation to other team members, supporting the use of creative therapeutic approaches.

Patients and young people can be referred for art therapy from a variety of different specialisms within the hospital – e.g. gastroenterological conditions, chronic pain, neurology conditions and cancer. Children and young people navigating a physical health condition can encounter many worries, challenges and concerns, and art therapy offers a space for the child to explore these. Parents and families often say the biggest impact of art therapy is that it gives their child a separate space to safely and creatively explore things that are important to them.

During the pandemic, this work has been delivered online, by video conference.